Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Jeff Horn Faces Stern Test in Viktor Plotnykov

Horn image:

Aussie up-and-comer Jeff Horn will have his hands full on August 1 in Invercargill, New Zealand.

Though he is ranked 10th in the world welterweight rankings he faces a stern test in no. 12 ranked Viktor Plotnykov.

Horn admits the wily Ukranian veteran is a step above anyone he has yet boxed.

Horn has already beaten 3 of the world’s top 15 ranked welterweigts, but none approaching Plotnykov’s caliber.

Plotnykov will also enjoy a 5cm height advantageand and has more than three times Horn’s professional experience with 34 fights.

But horn’s trainer, Glenn Rushton, isn’t letting his fighter be over-awed, “We are going to Invercargill to win the fight emphatically. But we are under no illusions about the opponent. It is going to be a tough, tough night.

“Jeff will need to win the fight with his legs more than his hands because he has to control the gap in distance between them.

“Plotnykov is a master at dominating the distance. He’s able to hit going back, he puts his left jab constantly in the face of his opponent and has a very dangerous right hand.

“He’s tough too and knows how to hold in close.”

Image for Plotnykov:

Image for Plotnykov:

Rushton has his charge working on explosive leg strength ahead of the match. While in sparring Horn is working on techniques to shut down Plotnykov’s damaging straight right.

Most recently, Plotnykov, 37, dominated and defeated former British commonwealth welterweight champion Denton Vassell over 12 rounds in Belfast.

Horn’s promoter, Dean Lonergan, believes his fighter is ‘four or five’ fights away from a world title. But Horn believes he is ready now.

He just has to get past Plotnykov first.

Mundine’s Begs Mayweather for Fight


Anthony Mundine has always courted disgrace. It now seems he has no shame at all after writing and publishing an open letter to Floyd Mayweather begging to be his next opponent.

Mundine was forced to withdraw from his May 9 super-welterwight fight against Austin Trout because of an ear injury.

His attempts to reschedule the bout were unsuccessful and the fight was officially called off.

Mudine hasn’t fought since his upset win against Sergey Rabchenko in Melbourne 2014. Prior to that, he had lost fights against Daniel Geale and Joshua Clottey (both of whom were trounced by men decisively beaten by Mayweather: Miguel Cotto def Geale, Manny Pacquiao def Clottey).

Despite the apparent mismatch Mundine referred to himself as “the uncrowned best athlete of all time”, yet his letter assumes Mayweather has never heard of him.

The letter was published on on Monday; it reads like a bumbling job application, wrtitten by someone more afraid of getting the job than being turned down.

Here is the spelling error and emoji-filled piece in all its horror:

My man Floyd!

My name is Anthony “The Man” Mundine! I am the uncrowned best athlete of all time! (check my resume). I was a rugby superstar before I quit at the top of my game due to racism & politics to take up boxing!

No amateur background. I wanted to be world champ … I fought fighters far more experience than me from the start. I got 6 losses (same as you) from 53 fights. I had to learn on the job as I had no amateur experience.

I believe when I’m mentally on, I can beat anybody! I’m charismatic, flamboyant, artistic, explosive athlete & fighter!

I’ve held WBA 168lb title twice the IBO middleweight, WBA interim 154lb title & reigning 154 WBC silver champion (your mandatory). I think you the best of our era & everybody wanna fight you — but I’m the wonder from down under & the only one that can solve the mayvinchi code!

So what Im trying to get at is I’m hoping to land the fight with you in Sept!

You don’t ask … you don’t get! Consider a colourful character who’s your mandatory for September. It won’t be boring before, during or after the fight!

I heard you mentioned names like Mayfield & Berto as your next opponents. Im the mandatory and that should looked at. I’ve got other attributes that none of these cats got! Makes for a good boxing spectacle both in and outta the ring. Its what the boxing fans need to see!

I revived boxing in my country. It was dead and I gave it mouth-to-mouth — and i’ve held it down for 15 years! And the Australian media doing their best to belittle me and keep me from my destiny. We have the tall poppy syndrome here. They wanna cut down the successful. And after all my achievements in two sports they still wont give me the credit. But thats cool. I already know im the best 2 sport champion ever. I dont need their validation. Thats why ima reachin out to you Floyd. Put on a Boxing spectacular.



You want show time — I am show time! Somebody the world needs to see! I’ll give you a way better go than you been getting!

It’s a 50-50 fight! Best athlete v best fighter??? Both got fast feet fast hands & fast mouth haha … or relinquish the Title as you’re preventing fighters like me in this position to take on the other champions or the bigger names in sport!

Ask Sugar Shane if I can handle the stage! Ima fan of yours but I truly believe you were put on this earth for me to beat inshallah! No disrespect just my belief …

I come from the land of the Kanagaroo where us natives shake a leg. Let’s go!

holla back

Yours sincerely,

The Man (Choc)

Adam Hansen Riding into History in this Year’s TDF

Adam Hansen image:

On Saturday night Queenslander Adam Hansen will make professional road cycling history. The moment he turns the first pedal he will have begun his 12th straight Grand Tour,. This will equal the record of Spaniard Bernardo Ruiz who did the same between 1954 and 1958.

Hansen began his record breaking career at the 2011 Vuelta a Espana. Since then he has ridden the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia every year – something unprecedented for a modern-day cyclist.

Should Hansen complete this year’s Tour and finish the Vuelta in September, then he will own the record outright.

“I like riding Grand Tours,” said a somewhat bemused Hansen from the Netherlands on Friday. “The record is a nice thing, but (it’s) not the first objective. Hopefully I finish in Paris.

Hansen (who rides for Lotto-Soudal) said the key to his longevity was quality rest between races.

In the same breath he admits there were some Grand Tours he didn’t think he’d finish.

“So far, the hardest grand Tour would have been the 2013 Vuelta. We had two real hard stages there – I was over my limit.

“In the Tour there is always a stage every year (where) I think: ‘this could be it’. But the 2013 was very difficult.

Hansen was lucky just to make this year’s Tour de France. He crashed in the Ster ZLM Toer in June, but managed to recover.

“It was a relief that the injuries after my crash weren’t too severe.

“Because of the visit to Belgium this is a special edition for the team and I’m happy to be here. Of course I’ll do everything I can to lead Andre (Greipel) to victory.

“I also hope to get in a breakaway, so I can fight for the stage win. I already won a stage at the Giro and Vuelta and I would lie to add a Tour stage to my victories.

“We have a dynamic team, with lots of rider who love to race aggressively and we’ll help each other when we can.”

Josh Papalii Called Back Into Maroons’ Origin Squad


Maroons coach Mal Meninga has opted to fight fire with fire, bringing 110kg hitman Josh Papalii back into the Queensland side.

The Maroons were outgunned by the Blues’ ferocity in game two of Origin.

New South Wales coach, Laurie Daley, modelled the strategy of game two around putting the Queenslanders off their game. To this end he unleashed hulking firebrand David Klemmer on their ranks.

Not even the most ardent Queensland fan could deny the impact Klemmer had on the game. At 2 meters tall (every inch of it mongrel), Klemmer battered the Queenslanders.

Coach Meninga needs an answer for Klemmer’s power and aggression in the deciding game three. And that answer comes in the form of wrecking-machine Josh Papalii.

Papalii was controversially dropped from Origin 12 months ago after a poor showing in game 1 at Suncorp Stadium.

But he was chosen for this year’s decider over rookie Dylan Napa because of this experience; with coach Meninga keen to give him the opportunity to redeem himself.

It is an opportunity Papalii is eager to embrace.

“I don’t want to let this Queensland jersey go,” he told reporters upon his announcement in the state squad. “I’m not coming here to play awful ever again, I’ll be leaving nothing behind.”

When asked about Klemmer, Papalii’s answer was: “I have played against Klemmer before and he wasn’t hard to miss, he’s massive. He is a good, young player, so I can’t wait to go up against him. It’s my job to come on and lift the team, just like he (Klemmer) does.”

Papalii has the ability to hurt the opposition. Last year he crash tackled Blues skipper Paul Gallen from behind. The tackle had Gallen whinging about cheap shots, but it was enough to rattle him.

The Maroons players are hoping Papalii is the antidote needed to take the Klemmer sting out of the New South Wales side. He has the ability, it just remains to be seen whether he has the nerve.

Aussie Zac Dunn Claims IBO Super-Middleweight Belt


Zac Dunn, from Melbourne, has outpointed Ukrainian tough-guy Max Bursak to claim the vacant IBO super-middleweight belt on Sunday.

Dunn extended his flawless record to 18-0 after all three judges put him four points clear of his rival.

Barry Michael, Dunn’s promoter, was on the phone within hours of his client’s victory trying to negotiate fights with German veterans Arthur Abraham and Robert Stieglitz.

Bursak publicly proclaimed he was all but guaranteed a shot at the German powerhouses if he beat Dunn. Now , in the wake of Dunn’s victory, Michael is hoping for the same opportunity.

Dunn certainly had to work for his win.

He was knocked down in the third with a blow that Dunn later admitted ‘hurt’ him.

Bursak was also penalised for head butting during several early clinches.

Dunn recovered from the dirty tactics but appeared to noticeably tire by round 12.

His lack of endurance is not surprising, Dunn has never had a fight go the distance. He has 15 knockouts to his credit, with two victories coming by way of stoppages.

Bursak 31-4 congratulated the Aussie on his performance. He also advised Dunn to tighten his defence before facing the German duo.

Dunn finished the fight with a cut to his forehead. “It was harder work than I thought,” he said at a post-fight interview. “Not my best fight, but certainly my toughest.”

He’ll need to be more than tough if he is to fight either Abraham or Steiglitz next month. But for now he can celebrate a fine victory and a world title belt.

Kody ‘The Power’ House Set to Debut Against NSW

In pads image:

Kody ‘The Power’ House is hanging up her lingerie league gear and stepping in to play in the Queensland Women’s Rugby League team.

House played in the Australian version of the Lingerie Football League and believes the change of codes will do her good.

House makes her debut for Queensland against perennial foe New South Wales. The Queenslanders have 17 straight interstate victories, but find themselves going into this game as underdogs.

The side has been decimated by injuries, including the loss of star Ali Briggenshaw, and will field 9 debutants!

House is a qualified diesel mechanic from Central Queensland. She is a big, powerful woman who has earned her nickname and the respect that comes with it.

At 80kg of cut muscle House will line up in the centres. She says she is a direct ball runner, preferring to steamroll through tacklers rather than sidestep them.

And she is an athlete.

House began her sporting career as a star soccer player. She made the top grade in Brisbane before switching to sevens rugby union, where she played for Queensland.

FHouse then code-hopped to AFL; then moved again to American football and the Lingerie Football League.

She has the glam and she has the wham.

The game kicks-off at 1300 Smiles Stadium (home of the NRL Cowboys) at 2:45pm this Saturday.

Fans are promised lots of action, lots of hits, and plenty of skill as this fierce rivalry continues.

Kody Power image:

Kody Power image:

Maroons May Get Boost from Slater Departure

A breeze of optimism has blown through the Queensland Maroons side.

After losing incumbent fullback Billy Slater to a nagging shoulder injury few would have credited Queensland’s chance at victory in the third game of Origin, to be played on July 8 at Suncorp Stadium.

But many believe the Maroons will be better off without the injured Slater.

Their opinion comes through a comparison of stats between Blues’ and Maroons’ fullbacks.

Josh Dugan was consistently better than Billy Slater, in every aspect of the game. Slater’s injured shoulder needed surgery even before game one. The Blues were told to expect Slater to pass in games one and two as his shoulder would not allow him to run into the line of defence.

Slater is still the best communicator on the field, and the Maroons will miss his ability to spot a chink in the Blues armour and capitalise on it.

But what incoming fullback, Greg Inglis, lacks in strategy he more than makes up for in sheer athleticism.

Inglis is expected to outpoint Dugan in game Three every bit as much as Slater was outpointed by him in the first two. Inglis is younger, very experienced in the position, has a wealth of big-game experience, and is arguably the most valuable player in the NRL today.

But the Blues have had their own piece of good news with Josh Jackson having  his charge downgraded, allowing him to play in the Origin decider.


Breakdown of stats from the first two Origins

_____________________Dugan                                                Slater

Meters                                306                                                     193

Runs                                    32                                                        23

Errors                                  1                                                          2

Tackle Busts                       10                                                        6

Tackles                                17                                                        8

Line Breaks                        2                                                          1

Tries                                    1                                                          0

Danny Green Announces Comeback


Boxer Danny Green announced his return to the ring on Wednesday and made it clear he wants another shot at Anthony Mundine.

The two haven’t fought since 2006 when Mundine outpointed Green for an unconvincing win in Sydney. At the time it was the most lucrative fight in Australian history.

The decision has been talked about ever since it was made.

When he learned of Green’s comeback Mundine laughed. He described Green as an ‘irrelevance’.

But with both men in the twighlight of their careers it is likely the big payday will lure them into one final showdown.

Mundine is 40, Green 42, so their high earning days are running out.

Green said, at his return announcement, that he had never stopped training and felt he was still in great shape.

But he’ll have to work his way back up to compete against Mundine.

The first step will be defeating the dangerous Slovakian Tamas Kovacs, at Hisense Arena on August 19. Kovacs is 20 15 years Green’s junior (27) and will be no push-over for The Green Machine.

Green is well-spoken, outgoing, and a devoted family man. Since his retirement from competitive boxing he has worked tirelessly against street violence and has become a respected community figure.

Matildas Upset Brazil in World Cup!

Caitlin foord image:

The Matildas have stunned the soccer world beating favourites Brazil to move through to the quarterfinals in the World Cup.

The Matildas scored the only goal in the game soaking up 90 minutes of relentless pressure from their more fancied rivals.

And hasn’t the media gone into overdrive.

Greg Howard from Deadspin wrote: “Holy shit. Holy shit! Brazil are out of the World Cup! Australia is through to the quarterfinals! It wasn’t supposed to go down like this. Brazil finished first in their group, while Australia finished second in the Group of Death.

“There have been a lot of upsets this World Cup, but this is the biggest one of the knockout stages, and it’s also the biggest win in Australia’s history. Brazil looked all tournament long to be one of the best sides, but of course, that doesn’t matter now.”

The Brazilians were on the attack from the opening whistle. And while the Australians never looked comfortable against Brazil, neither did they  look out of their depth..

Midfielder Caitlin Foord came in for special praise for effectively shutting down Brazilian super star, Marta.

“The five-time FIFA World Player of the Year, Marta, was largely kept in check by the Australian defense on Sunday,” wrote NBCSport’s Jeff Kassouf., “thanks in large part to speedy 20-year-old defender Caitlin Foord, playing in her second World Cup.”

It was a gutsy win by a team who wanted it more. Well done to all the girls.

Steamroller Kennedy to Make Octagon Debut

Image from Kennedy’s Facebook page.

Steve Kennedy (22-6-0), of Perth, is the latest Australian to be seconded into the ranks of the UFC.

His call-up comes as he is asked to fill in for injured Sergio Moraes.

Kennedy will be fighting local boy Peter Sobotta (14-4-1) in the 77kg welterweight division in UFC Berlin.

The thought of fighting Sobotta in front of his home crowd doesn’t worry Kennedy. In fact, the man known as ‘Steamroller’ intends to make his debut impressively and ask questions of his much favoured opponent.

“I didn’t change (my training) specifically for peter. I trained with a few of the good southpaws (left handers) around (his Kickass Gym in Perth) just to switch over my brain.”

In an interview with Kennedy (originally from Watford, England) told of how “your brain needs to work a little differently when you fight southpaws. I’ve done plenty of camps for them. I am going to make it ugly and ask a real question of him – How bad he wants to win. And we’ll see if he can answer it.”

Kennedy has spent the week dieting to make weight for the bout. “We always struggle to make weight,” he said philosophically. But an opportunity to break into the UFC is not one Kennedy will relinquish without giving it his all.

Kennedy’s debut against Sobotta features on the main card (one of four such fights).

The headline will be the much anticipated title fight between incumbent UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Polish Joanna Jedrzejczyk (9-0-0) and season 21 TUF housemate American Jessica Penne (12-3-0).